Senior India pacer Mohammed Shami was effusive in his praise for skipper Virat Kohli, who has assembled inarguably India’s greatest cartel of pacers in the past few years.
While Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ishant Sharma have been the three front figures in this attack, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and now Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan are the other high-quality alternatives at Kohli’s disposal.
With significant performances from these pacers, India has registered two historic Test series triumphs in Australia on its last couple of tours, and gave a tough competition to England and South Africa, while completely dominated in West Indies.
Mohammed Shami says that the skipper has given them the freedom to bowl to their plans and express themselves as they please. It is only when a plan goes awry, then Kohli intervenes.
“It is also indeed a phase which you can maybe attribute to the luck of this Indian team or hard work. But Virat has always been supportive of his fast bowlers while also giving us freedom on the ground. He only jumps in when our plans fail, otherwise we’re free as a bowling unit to do as we please. He has always been very supportive,” Mohammed Shami told Cricbuzz.
He jokes around with us, behaves as if he’s our childhood friend: Mohammed Shami
The 30-year-old reveals that Kohli is doesn’t have any hint of condescendence around him, instead, he is a funny, jovial character outside the field and takes away the pressure from the players.
Mohammed Shami will soon make his return to the Test side after being away owing to a wrist injury which he sustained in the first Test in Australia. He featured in the IPL for Punjab Kings and is likely to be in the first eleven for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand unless the management gives the nod to Siraj.
“As far as our fast-bowling unit or I am concerned as an individual, he has never put any undue pressure on any of us. Usually, there’s a doubt in a bowler’s mind before he approaches his captain. That has never been the case with Virat. He has no air about himself. He jokes around with us, behaves as if he’s our childhood friend.
“This leads to a lot of fun on the ground too. Sometimes there’s fun banter, sometimes we also end up saying aggressive things to each other but we never mind it because it happens in the heat of the moment,” the seamer revealed further.